U3A News from around Wales

Interested in Philosophy?

Whether or not you have any qualifications, you might like to join a Google discussion Group set up for "U3A Philosophy in Wales". It has a wide remit and presumes no grounding in the topic. If you want to know more (or what a Google Group is!), please email Roger Boyle (of Aberystwyth U3A) and ask.

Here's a teaser topic: Government is planning to release a smartphone-based "COVID-19" tracker ... what ethical boundaries in its design ought they respect?

Keeping in Touch and Keeping Busy

During the Coronavirus crisis there are many things U3As and their members can do to carry on their activities.
Visit the new "Wales U3As Keeping in Touch" website to find out more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The National U3A office has issued updated advice and information.
Download: Coronavirus Advice

Beware of Coronavirus scams
Criminals are preying on Coronavirus fears. Don't get taken in by bogus emails or phone calls purporting to offer money, advice or help.
Read these guides to current scams:

2019/20 U3A Wales Photography Competition

The winning entry was Dolbadarn Castle: David Peers from Bangor U3A. View the top twelve photographs, including the winning entry.

The theme for the 2019/20 competition is ‘The Castles of Wales’ and images may be in colour or monochrome. Closing date for entries was April 30th 2020
Documents available to download:

Wales U3A Short Story Competition 2020

Wales Trustee, Chris Winner writes ...
This year as usual, we are running competitions for stories in both English and Welsh. The Welsh language stories are in two categories, Welsh first language and Welsh second language.

Please note that the rules for the both competitions have changed. For a number of reasons it is not possible to accept postal entries this year, all entries must be as email attachments. This year we are also introducing a single entry form which replaces the former details document. Please note that the entry form is bilingual and for use with entries in either language. Authors intending to enter the competition should read through the rules very carefully.

Downloads available:

Note: The entry form is a Microsoft Word file, but you should also be able to open and edit it using "OpenOffice Writer", "LibreOffice Writer", "Pages", or one of many other apps which are compatible with Word files. If you are unable to complete the entry form please contact the Wales Trustee, Chris Winner.

Wales Regional Conference 2020

Learn Laugh Live (Active Ageing and Well Being)

A decision has been taken to postpone the conference until May 2021.

At the Wales Regional Conference 2020 we are highlighting active ageing and well-being, concepts accepted by many organisations. Health care professionals are increasingly discovering the value of social prescribing and here once again U3A fits the bill very well.

The programme this year will include a brief update on the progress of the development plan and also includes two guest speakers:

  • Dr Cliff Arnall (Psychologist, Life Coach and Happiness Consultant). Cliff will be speaking on the subject of ‘Sleep’ and how it is a foundational aspect of health and well-being.
  • Sheikh Ahmed will be speaking on the Physicians of Myddfai. From ancient times, humans have used plants for medicinal purposes. The Physicians of Myddfai played an important role in this tradition and remains an important part of the cultural tradition of Wales.

During the day there will be input from members of Swansea U3A.

The Wales U3A Castles Quilt will make it first public appearance and examples of work produced as part of the Wales Castles Shared Learning Project will be on display.

The programme for the day will be posted nearer the conference and will also be available at the conference.

Downloads available:


For more information please contact Chris Winner the Trustee for Wales

2020 U3A Table Tennis Championships

This year's event, planned for October, has been cancelled due to the pandemic. It is hoped to hold the event again in 2021.

Latest newsletters from Wales U3As

Bridgend NewsletterCardiff NewsletterCardigan NewsletterChepstow Newsletter
Flintshire NewsletterLlandrindod NewsletterLlandudno NewsletterNewcastle Emlyn Newsletter
Porthmadog NewsletterRuthin NewsletterTorfaen NewsletterWrexham Newsletter
Monmouth Annual Magazine

Would you like to have your newsletter included here? Please contact the Wales website Editor.

Wales Region Short Story Competition 2019

I am very pleased to announce the winners of the Wales U3As Short Story Competitions.

The winner of the story in the Welsh second language category is: Marlene Clarke, with her story ‘Cestyll yn yr Awyr’. Marlene is a member of Flintshire U3A.

The winner of the story in the English category is: Julie Rainsbury, for her story ‘The Little Empress’. Julie is a member of Newcastle Emlyn U3A.

Many congratulations to both of the authors. Their stories are here for you to read. Marlene has provided us an English translation of her story.

There were no entries in the Welsh first language category.

- Chris Winner, Trustee for Wales

Copies of the winning stories are available to download:

Castles Shared Learning Project

If your U3A has a craft/sewing/quilting/art group or an individual person interested in contributing to the Castles SLP wall hanging there is still a chance to become involved. Groups and members are invited to produce a "picture" of a castle in their area which can then be joined with others to create a quilt, or perhaps we should call it a wall hanging as it would be intended to be hung up, not placed on a bed. If you have members that may be interested in taking part please contact Ruth the organiser directly at and Ruth will be happy to discuss it further.

For full details of the Project visit the Castles Shared Learning Project page.

U3A Awareness Event in Llanelli

Llanelli U3A Awareness Event 1 Llanelli U3A Awareness Event 2 Llanelli U3A Awareness Event 3 Report from Sandra Ivinson
We applied to Central Office for a grant to enable us to host an Awareness Event for Llanelli U3A. We were then able to place an advertisement in our local paper, the Llanelli Star. About 70 people attended our ‘Coffee and Scones’ event and eleven new members joined.
Our membership has increased by a third over the past six months and our number of interest groups has increased from 15 to 25, as new members have introduced new activities.
One of our recent new groups is French Boules. If any other U3As play Boules, maybe we can arrange an annual competition. We already have an annual indoor Bowls Competition against Pembrokeshire U3A. We are very grateful to Central Office for their continued support.

Welsh National Eisteddfod - Llanrwst, Conwy - Saturday 3rd to Saturday 10th August

Volunteers, including fluent Welsh speakers and learners, from the North Wales U3A Network will be in attendance at the U3A Stand (No. 512) throughout the event, to raise the profile of the organisation nationally and locally.
Take a look at the website for more details of the Eisteddfod which is fully accessible by bus and train and parking is available.
If you’re visiting the event, please call in at the stand to say ‘hello’.

Introducing the U3A Constructor's Challenge 2019

Constructors Challenge 2019 Expressions of interest are invited from any electronics constructors in the U3A who are interested in robotics projects. To register your interest, please contact Barry James at
stating the U3A to which you belong, any experience you have with robotics and or coding, and whether you’d actually like to participate in the challenge.

More details are available in the following documents which are available to download:

Gilwern U3A Celebrates 100th Member

Gilwern U3A, launched in 2016, has just signed up its 100th member. You can read about what they have achieved by downloading the Gilwern press release.

Porthcawl U3A supporting local community

Porthcawl U3A supporting local Lifeboat Porthcawl U3A's Writing groups raised £1,116 from sales of their book 'A Write Crew'. Pictured are the U3A’s Jo Brooks & Malcolm Cowper presenting a cheque to the Porthcawl Lifeboat crew.

‘A Write Crew’ is a collection of 24 stories and poems, some funny, some poignant, all entertaining - and written by Porthcawl U3A members of the Writing for Pleasure group. The book was sold with a cover price of £4, all profits from sales going to the local Lifeboat station at Porthcawl.

Back to School for Porthcawl U3A

Report by Brian Thomas, Porthcawl U3A

Porthcawl U3A support their local school In our highly competitive society, attending a first formal interview can be a nerve racking experience, especially as a teenager. The more practice young people get in acquiring and then fine-tuning those important self-presentation skills the more success is likely to come their way.

To inject a touch of realism to the process of interview preparation, staff at Porthcawl Comprehensive again called upon members of Porthcawl U3A for assistance.

Ever ready to answer a call to support their community, U3A members duly conducted mock interviews with Year 12 students, with each student allocated a half hour slot to be grilled by two members - many of whom are former teachers and learning professionals.

The whole process was made to be as realistic as possible and was followed by the delivery of feedback directly to the student - helpful hints and practical advice.

Headteacher Andrew Slade was delighted with the outcome:
"This was an important opportunity to develop and enhance interview skills for our students, many of whom are about to compete for places at some of the best universities in the country" said Mr Slade. "The feedback given by members of Porthcawl U3A was really useful in allowing our students to critically reflect and refine their crucial self-presentation skills".

Shared Learning Projects

Sue Shannon-Jones has taken on the role of Shared Learning Project Coordinator for South Wales. If you are currently involved in a Shared Learning Project, or have an idea for one, please let her know. Click on Shared Learning Project if you want to set up a Shared Learning Project or you want to contact her or just want further information.